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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

smaddox Re:Customer service? (872 comments)

It's actually pretty nice. For $10 you get priority seating, and can choose your seat. Also, the flights are typically pretty cheap.

4 days ago
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UEA Research Shows Oceans Vital For Possibility of Alien Life

smaddox Re:Limited Imagination (97 comments)

Because complex chemistry is a prerequisite for life. There's a reason organic chemistry (carbon-based chemistry) is it's own topic--it's extremely complex.

about a week ago
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UEA Research Shows Oceans Vital For Possibility of Alien Life

smaddox Re:Extremophile (97 comments)

Also, efficient data transmission is indistinguishable from noise if you don't know the protocol.

It's worth noting, however, that the SETI program only ever really looked for explicit beacons from alien civilizations, hence why they picked the radio frequency of positronium spin flip (and other similar frequencies from fundamental physics).

about a week ago
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Activist Group Sues US Border Agency Over New, Vast Intelligence System

smaddox Re:No Decent Solution (82 comments)

Borders are barriers to trade and migration. If government by the people for the people were really the aim, we would have small, local governments that the average individual could actually influence, and that people could easily migrate away from if they felt compelled to. Instead, we have the exact opposite.

about a week ago
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Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

smaddox Re:That said... (60 comments)

That's not how it works. Degradation is much larger for deep cycling than for shallow cycling. You're better off leaving your laptop on the charger when not in use. Note, this only applies to modern laptops with regulated charging circuits.

about two weeks ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

smaddox Re:Propoganda runs both ways. (379 comments)

Well, you're right that missile defense leads to nuclear armament, but it doesn't really matter if it's effective. MIRV's and decoys can cheaply and easily neutralize any form of missile defense.

about two weeks ago
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Asteroid Mining Bill Introduced In Congress To Protect Private Property Rights

smaddox Re:Good. Let's go. (181 comments)

I'll believe that when I see a process for refining the raw materials in orbit and producing something usable out of them. As is, asteroid mining endeavors are nothing short of magical thinking.

about two weeks ago
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Swedish Farmers Have Doubts About Climatologists and Climate Change

smaddox Re: People living in the polar regions (567 comments)

Weather is extremely complex, but global average climate is relatively simple. It's simply a matter of accounting for the amount of energy going in, which is fairly constant with some changes due to variance in solar flux, and the amount of energy going out, which depends primarily on surface reflectivity and the greenhouse effect. Spectroscopy and atomspheric lifetime measurements tell us which gases have a significant greenhouse effect, and carbon dioxide is up there (#3, if I'm not mistaken, after methane and water). Several forms of data, ice-core drilling being one of the best, tells us what historic CO2 levels were. These measurements are calibrated and corroborated by several other forms of evidience, such as radioactive dating, tree-ring analysis, and correlation with fossil beds. These measurements indicate that CO2 levels are the highest they have been in ~5 million years, and rising very rapidly. It is uncontested by all but the most ignorant opponents that this increase in CO2 is caused by the burning of fossile fuels. Basic physics dictates that a rise in CO2 will result in a reduction in the rate of energy escaping from Earth, which will result in higher global average temperatures.

about three weeks ago
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The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

smaddox Re:And Joe Schmoe wont care. (364 comments)

People who claim national governments need a balanced budget have very little exposure to macroeconomic theory. It's been shown time and time again that austerity leads to recession.

However, I agree that throwing money at unworthy jobs is a terrible idea. We would be much better off spending that money on our rapidly deteriorating infrastructure.

about three weeks ago
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The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

smaddox Re:Not a boondoggle (364 comments)

Absolutely true. Although, I would argue that it is superiour to true socialism in that you create a highly skilled workforce, some of whom go on to produce real advancments. Empirically, this seems to be the case. But, nonetheless, I agree. Let's not pretend it's something it's not.

about three weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

smaddox Re: Python for learning? Good choice. (415 comments)

I have little experience with it at this point (haven't needed that level of optimization yet), but i hear Cython takes care of that. Of course people who don't like whitespace (yet somehow can stand braces and semi colons) won't like it.

For coding custom scientific software (not super computer level performance, mind you), i personally think python is unbeatable. Python is incredible for write first, optimize later, because there are several tools available for various levels of optimization, and a huge repository of C and Fortran bindings for various libraries.

about three weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

smaddox Re: The Future's So Bright (415 comments)

For "true" computer engineers, I completely agree, and this is how I learned at the university of Texas at Austin just 9 years ago (well, really I had already taught myself c++, but that was how the curriculum went. Except we started with logic gates, then went to machine code, and then assembly.) However, for someone going in to web Dev, etc. that's hardly necessary.

about three weeks ago
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Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

smaddox Re:Detroit calls Google arrogant? (236 comments)

[citation needed]

Unless they are going 25 mph on all of the highways they drive on, you are clearly misinformed.

about a month ago
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Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

smaddox Re:Google should talk with Tesla (236 comments)

That's a valid point. However, there's nothing stopping Detroit companies from having small experimental releases. They're just more interested in marketing and maintaining their buyer base than in improving technology.

about a month ago
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Swedish Farmers Have Doubts About Climatologists and Climate Change

smaddox Re: People living in the polar regions (567 comments)

So are you suggesting they should publish their methods and data? Good thing that's part of the scientific process. Pick a reference: http://climate.nasa.gov/eviden...

People often deny fact and logic based on nothing more than conviction. If that doesn't make them stupid, it makes them something much worse.

about a month ago
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US House of Representatives Votes To Cut Funding To NSA

smaddox Re: Next! (164 comments)

If he blatantly disregards the will of the people in such a way, then impeachment is next on the agenda.

about a month ago
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2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

smaddox Re:Good! (619 comments)

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. The petroleum economy is global. Even if the US supplies all of its own oil (and there's a chance we will be in a few more years, thanks to shale fracking and offshore drilling), a fall in production from Saudi Arabia, for examples, would cause an increase in global demand, which would cause US prices to increase.

Also, don't think energy security is the only reason the US is involved in foreign conflicts. That's only a (somewhat small) part of the reason.

about a month ago
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1958 Integrated Circuit Prototypes From Jack Kilby's TI Lab Up For Sale

smaddox Re:Kilby & Noyce (76 comments)

And Newton didn't invent the modern notation for Calculus (the modern form is due to Leibniz). And Maxwell wrote his equations completely differently than we write them now (the modern form is due to Oliver Heaviside). And Einstein didn't discover the special relativity transformations (hence why they are called Lorentz transformations). And Edison wasn't the first to invent the light bulb, let alone the carbon filament light bulb, let alone the tungsten filament light bulb. I could go on...

about a month ago

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